Any tips to lower my Gainesville apartment utility bill? It's really hot this Summer and my A/C is working hard.

That is a great question, and is one that is sure to come up more often in the following years as everyone is trying to be a little more green-friendly in an effort to save our planet. Gainesville is a very environmentally-friendly town, geared towards its community and trying to better its environment in any way it can. Many of the all-inclusive apartments in Gainesville still have utility caps or allowances each month, so you'll want to check your lease to see what the limit is, and follow these tips to stay under the cap.

Do An Apartment Energy Sweep

Firsthand, I know that I've grown accustomed to leaving things on or plugged in when I'm going to bed or to school, such as my chargers and lamps. It may not seem like a lot of energy is being used when you leave things plugged in and they're not in use, but it makes an impact. Whether you're leaving the house or hitting the hay, do an energy sweep in your apartment and unplug or shut off what's not in use. Toasters, TVs, computers and computer chargers – these all are a cause of phantom energy loss and by making this change you'll see a difference on your bill. It takes about $9 per year to run just one compact fluorescent light bulb through the night, $21 for a conventional bulb and $35 for a big ceiling fan on high—so be sure to switch off those lights and fans when you leave the house!

Are you using energy efficient light bulbs?

How many light bulbs does it take to change your electricity bill? Not that many! Lighting your Gainesville apartment can account for up to 15 percent of your utility bill, so maybe it's time to reconsider what bulbs you are using in your Gainesville apartment. Fluorescent bulbs may be more expensive initially, but they are definitely worth the investment. A single standard incandescent light bulb can cost the same to operate as six to 10 fluorescent bulbs—and the fluorescents last about 10 times longer!

Adjust Your Thermostat

The EPA estimates the average homeowner can save $180 per year with a properly programmed thermostat. If your apartment doesn't include a programmable thermostat, don't fret! You can still reap these same benefits by turning off your unit when you leave for the day.

Gainesville can get really hot! In the summer, use blinds and drapes to block out the sun's rays from heating up your apartment and working against your air conditioner. And in the winter, let the sun in to help keep your apartment warm. For more useful information on saving on your utility bill by using your thermostat wisely, check out these debunked energy efficiency myths.

Keep a Fresh A/C Filter

How many times have you put off changing out the filter on your heating and air-conditioning system because you didn't want to buy a new filter? Great news, most apartments in Gainesville will change the filter for you as part of regular maintenance. To see if you need a new filter, just open up the A/C and take a look at your current filter. Does it look clean or is it covered in dust? Waiting too long to change your filter makes your HVAC system less efficient and ends up costing you more on your electricity bill. With a permanent filter, you'll save money in the long run, cut your utility bill and avoid any issues with your HVAC unit.

For additional insight into energy conservation, check out GRU's Save Energy page! provides a search criterion with several options specifically relevant to apartment communities' "green efforts." That way, you can quickly and easily narrow down the Gainesville apartments which provide the energy-efficient and/or environmentally friendly services you desire, such as recycling, low-energy lighting, Energy Star appliances, LEED certification, and more.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.